Student Handbook: Lafayette College Policy on Sexual Harassment

Relevant excerpt

There are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile environment.

A “hostile environment” exists when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature (such as unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome expressive, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, educational participation or performance, or status, i.e., it is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive as to create an intimidating, offensive, demeaning, or humiliating educational, residential, or working environment. Sexual conduct is unwelcome if it is not solicited or invited and the recipient considers it undesirable or offensive.

In order to constitute a violation, the hostile environment must be subjectively perceived by the complainant, and that perception must be reasonable for a person in the complainant’s position.

Examples of behavior that might be considered conduct of a sexual nature include, but are not limited to: • Unwelcome sexual attention, propositions, touching, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; • Unwelcome sexual or gender-specific innuendo or jokes; humor about sex-specific or gender-specific traits; sexual slurs or derogatory language directed at another person’s sexuality or gender; • Unwelcome oral, written, or electronic communications of a sexual nature; • Written graffiti or the display or distribution of sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials; sexual rumors or ratings of sexual activity or performance; and • Implied or overt threats of punitive action, as a result of rejection of sexual advance.

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